What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic Abuse

Any form of physical, sexual or mental, financial and emotional abuse which might amount to criminal conduct and which takes place within the context of a relationship.  The relationship can be between partners (married, cohabiting, civil partnerships or otherwise) or ex partners.  The abuse can be committed in the home or elsewhere.

While available evidence suggests that the most prevalent instances of domestic abuse are male violence towards women, this definition acknowledges and includes female violence towards men and violence between partners or ex partners in close, same sex relationships.

Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of someone’s reaction is being abused.

Domestic abuse includes;

  • Deliberately frightening you
  • Destroying your property
  • Threatening or abusive behaviour
  • Insisting on knowing where you are all the time

Psychological or emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical violence – and the effects can be longer lasting.  Many people carry the emotional scars long after physical injuries have healed.  Financial abuse and social isolation are also common features.

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